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Suspect's car split in half after police chase, crash in Santa Rosa

A police pursuit on Highway 12 Tuesday night ended with a violent crash as a DUI suspect's sedan was sliced in half after smashing into two other vehicles, Sebastopol police reported.

The crash caused minor injuries to three people, including driver Tristram Scott West, 28, who was treated and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Driving as fast as 100 mph with a Sebastopol officer in pursuit, West headed out of Sebastopol, passing traffic illegally on the two-lane highway until he reached stopped traffic at Llano Road, Sebastopol Sgt. Greg DeVore said Wednesday.

Attempting to get around the traffic, West entered the intersection as another driver was turning on the green light. West's Honda clipped that Chevrolet Impala and then was hit broadside by a Volvo.

The impact sent the Honda spinning off of the roadway and into two parts, separating between the front and back seats.

Firefighters and officers responding to the crash found the halved car and a debris field of metal and plastic stretching more than 300 feet.

West was still sitting in the driver's seat.

Volvo driver Gavin Merczakdinolfo was trapped in his car and freed by Santa Rosa firefighters.

Impala driver Brianna McAlvain, 19, of Sebastopol and the other two drivers were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital reportedly with minor injuries.

Sgt. DeVore said the 9:30 p.m. pursuit started after Sebastopol Officer David Edney pulled over the Honda driver, after seeing him speeding east and dangerously changing lanes.


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